Etiquette in Wikipedia: Weening New Editors into Productive Ones

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Etiquette in Wikipedia: Weening New Editors into Productive Ones is a 2012 conference paper written in English by Ryan Faulkner, Steven Walling, Maryana Pinchuk and published in WikiSym.

[edit] Abstract

Currently, the greatest challenge faced by the Wikipedia community involves reversing the decline of active editors on the site – in other words, ensuring that the encyclopedia’s contributors remain sufficiently numerous to fill the roles that keep it relevant. Due to the natural drop-off of old contributors, newcomers must constantly be socialized, trained and retained. However recent research has shown the Wikipedia community is failing to retain a large proportion of productive new contributors and implicates Wikipedia’s semi-automated quality control mechanisms and their interactions with these newcomers as an exacerbating factor. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of minor changes to the normative warning messages sent to newcomers from one of the most prolific of these quality control tools (Huggle) in preserving their rate of contribution. The experimental results suggest that substantial gains in newcomer participation can be attained through inexpensive changes to the wording of the first normative message that new contributors receive.

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